December 6, 2017
First, throughout the autobiography Malala suggests that the conflicts she has with her pesky younger brothers Khushal and Atal show that she lives a perfectly normal life. She writes, “‘We argue over the TV remote. Over chores. Over who’s the better student. Over who ate the last of the cheesy Wotsits. Over whatever you can think of’” (12). Malala shows that she argues with her brother about the same silly matters most siblings fight over. Her relationships with Khushal and Atal shows that despite being a worldwide advocate for peace, at home Malala, like most kids, gets into squabbles with her siblings.
Second, Malala often discusses the disagreements and competitiveness between her and her closest friend Moniba. She admits, “Another of my regular worries was whether Moniba was angry with me. She was my best friend, bookish like me, almost like my twin. We sat together whenever we could… But we had a habit of fighting, and always over the same thing: when another girl came between us” (36). Although Malala campaigns for girls’ rights, is personally targeted by the Taliban, and must move to a different country for safety, she and Moniba are constantly giving one another the cold shoulder and having to repair their relationship, mostly due to insecurities about being one another’s closest friend. Just as both teenage girls experience occasional disagreements with one another, Malala also sometimes gets into fights with her friends, and this shows that she is normal.
Third, even before her emergence into the world spotlight, Malala admits that she is often self-conscious about her looks – about the color of her skin, the symmetry of her face, and her height. She explains, “My skin was too dark. My eyebrows were too thick. One of my eyes was smaller than the other. And I hated the little moles that dotted my cheek” (82). Malala lists various things about her face and later her body that she dislikes, just as most teenage girls are very aware of features that they consider flaws. This shows that she is a normal teenage girl in that she is critical of her appearance.
Observe the images below and choose one to write a poem about (modeled after either “Holocaust” by Barbara Sonek or “The Little Boy with His Hands Up” by Yala Korwin), describing what you imagine to be true about the child(ren) in the picture. Imagine who this child was, what he or she was feeling, thinking, wondering, worrying about, dreaming about, and try to think of what message you want to give to your reader about this child’s experience.
1st! Look at your picture. How old do you think the child is? What do you think he/she is thinking or feeling in this moment? What do you see in his/her eyes, their body language, their facial expressions? What’s going on in the picture, from what you can see? Explore these details before you start.
2nd! Think about your approach. Perhaps your poem will be a list of questions you’d ask him/her given the chance. Perhaps your poem compares pieces of your life to theirs. Perhaps your poem is a conversation between the two of you. Be creative!
3rd! The rules: Your poem must be typed and at least 12 lines long. You can be creative with the font, but make sure it’s black and easy to read. It must have a title. It does not have to rhyme, but it can! The final document must be PRINTED OUT. You should have the image you used somewhere on the sheet, large enough to see clearly.